By Renee Taylor
When I was 9 months pregnant a dear friend of mine held a celebration to bless my journey to motherhood. As each woman present offered their blessings, one of the women said “I hear that childbirth can be orgasmic and so I wish that for you.” I thought she was crazy. I did not have an “orgasmic birth” although I hear it certainly is possible. For me, childbirth was the most extra-ordinary event in my life and I am looking forward to doing it again.
In this new era where childbirth is being brought back to women, I am very grateful to see the birthing trend moving away from the industrialization of this natural process and back to grass roots. We have choices. Today, unlike the birth stories of our mothers and grandmothers who suffered greatly, women can choose to have a midwife, we can choose to labour in water or on all fours. We can choose to have the presence and support of friends, family, a doula, even an alternative medicine practitioner present to support us and our partner on our journeys. We have the opportunity to labour in a loving and supportive environment where we are safe to make the decisions that are right for us, we are encouraged to listen to and trust our bodies’ innate knowledge and ability to birth our babies.
Childbirth is possibly the most extraordinary event in our lives. To give birth is miraculous, powerful and transformative for the woman, for the family and for the community.
I remember being so excited and impatient to meet my child. As a woman who was expecting her first child, I had read each and every book available about pregnancy and childbirth yet as every other woman expecting her first child, I really did not know what to expect, nor how I would handle labour. During my own journey with the birth of my wonderful daughter Neve, my labour did not go according to my “birthplan” yet I was so well supported by my doula, my midwife, my partner and an incredible nurse that I was able to surrender, ride that powerful force of nature and birth my child. It truly was joyful, intense and empowering. After all those months of anticipation, I rejoiced to meet my child, to see what she looked like, to hear her cry and feel her warmth. In the instant she was born, all the worries, aches of pregnancy and pains of childbirth dissipated and it was all worth it.
To bring a child into the world is a profoundly joyous time. Women’s bodies are perfectly crafted for the experience. Woman radiate during pregnancy, we love to be mothers, to nurse and nurture our precious babies. Meeting our baby for the first time is overwhelmingly joyous beyond compare. Furthermore there is a sacred communal happiness in the celebration of a new baby. For parents there is deeper connection to the community in which we live. Passers-by stop to say hello and marvel at the newest member of the community. Grandparents, aunts and uncles don’t know how to contain their excitement; new life in the family brings everyone closer again. I have not met a woman whom after becoming a mother did not feel a new respect and awe of other women, a connection to all women past and present, a new belonging to her community.
I have had the pleasure to both experience childbirth myself and have had the honour to witness and share with women and couples in their birthing experience. Simply to be present this miracle is mesmerizing each and every time. Labour is a potent time where we can manifest joy, healing, empowerment, and learn a great deal about ourselves and the power within our bodies. Labour is natural, normal and wonderful. Furthermore, the intimacy with our partner deepens in this process where we take the first step towards a new relationship as parents.
Childbirth is something deep and wild as the ocean, we cannot control it, we can simply ride the wave and surrender to the journey of birthing our children. The key is in our support network. If we are well supported we can cope one contraction at a time. If we feel safe and assured, we can let go of the fear and preconceptions about labour. If we can dispel all the untruths told about childbirth and forget the horror stories told by women before, we all have potential to have an “orgasmic birth”, or at least an unforgettable adventure.
No one can deny the intensity and pain of childbirth. I read a wonderful article that was written by Penny Simkin that hit home for me. She said in relation to childbirth that pain does not equate suffering. We have all endured physical and emotional challenges. Labour is just another challenge. As with climbing any tall mountain, it may hurt and you may sweat but once you have reached the top, the accomplishment of the feat followed by the most wonderful reward makes it all worth it. It is not something to be afraid of as your body has great capabilities and knows exactly what to do. Don’t we all feel most alive and joyful when we are pushed to the edge of our comfort zone and come though the challenge with grace? Facing the physical discomforts of labour and coming out the other side is a factor that makes birth so joyful. It is empowering because at the end of the day you can pat yourself on the back and say “Wow, I did that!”
Renee Taylor is a Registered Acupuncturist, Doula and co-founder of Acumamas wellness. She treats people in all stages of life with a special focus on pregnancy, fertility and women’s health. She has had the honour to treat thousands of pregnant women and has attended over a hundred births. For more information please visit www.acumamas.com or call Acumamas at 778-323-3973.